Answered By: Desk Reference
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2016

Google is not an academic source, or indeed, a source at all.  "Google" should never be cited as a source.  Rather, Google is a search engine designed to help find materials that are available on the internet. In general, Google should not be used to find academic sources, as most websites and documents are not of an academic nature.

Google Scholar is a branch of the Google search engine that strives to locate only scholarly sources, and bases the relevancy of an article on how often it was cited and who it was published by.  So while, like Google, Google Scholar cannot be cited as a source, it can be more readily used to help locate academic sources.  However, Google Scholar is only one of several academic search engines, and as one that tries to be as generic and non-specific to any field as possible, may not be the best of these search engines.  It probably shouldn't be your first choice to find academic sources - instead, one of the Library's databases might be a better place to start.

If you are having trouble locating academic sources on your topic, please visit the Reference Desk. The staff there will be happy to help you with your research. You can also contact Reference by phone at 204.786.9815 or email at

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